310 Framingham Students Receive Language of Opportunity Coalition Certificates and State SEAL Recognitions in 2018-2019

Framingham Bilingual Meetings Dec. 11 and 12

The following is a press release from the Framingham Public Schools. It is published as written.


FRAMINGHAM – Over the past four years, Framingham Public Schools has taken various opportunities to educate the wider community on the SEAL of Biliteracy.

Since 2016, Framingham Public Schools piloted the District Biliteracy Project; which means that Framingham Public Schools was part of a national group designated to test the effectiveness of education towards proficiency in two or more languages.

During the 2018-2019 school year, the FPS was one of 83 Districts that opted into the State of Biliteracy adoption of an insignia on students’ diplomas, provided that students met the DESE eligibility criteria for English and in a partner language.

In short, the State SEAL of Biliteracy is an award given in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in two or more languages by the time they reach high school graduation.

It recognizes the value of bilingualism, encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain, and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. Students can also receive district pathway awards, or Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Awards along different points of language mastery at grades 5, 8, and 12.

These LOC Awards are named according to a general skill level in a partner language: Biliteracy Participation, Biliteracy Attainment and Biliteracy Achievement.

There are two versions of the State SEAL of Biliteracy, each with different eligibility criteria. 

The Official State SEAL of Biliteracy 

SEAL Award InsigniaSEAL Title and Standardized Assessment Criteria for English and Partner Language
State SEAL of Biliteracy with DistinctionIn order to receive the State SEAL of Biliteracy with Distinction, a student will need a score of Advanced on the grade 10 ELA MCAS and a proficiency score of Advanced-Low based on the ACTFL Rubric (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) in a partner language. Framingham will use the STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) test to determine competency in the partner language.
State SEAL of BiliteracyIn order to receive the State SEAL of Biliteracy, a student will need a score of Proficient on the grade 10 ELA MCAS and a proficiency score of Intermediate-High based on the ACTFL Rubric (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) in a partner language. Framingham will use the STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) test to determine competency in the partner language.

For context, 1,177 students across the Commonwealth earned one of the two State SEALs illustrated above.

This past year 310 Framingham students in grades 5, 8 and 12 received Language of Opportunity Coalition (LOC) certificates and State SEAL recognition.

Students speaking over eleven languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Luganda, Lithuanian, Hindi, Japanese, and Russian were represented districtwide. Any student who pursues and grows in their biliteracy is eligible to receive the LOC Awards and State SEALs. In fact, the 310 students who qualified for and met the requirements last year represented a variety of our programs including general education, World Languages, Transitional Bilingual Education, Dual Language Programs and Sheltered English Immersion programs. 

The breakdown on award recognitions for the 2018-2019 school year is as follows:

  • 99 State SEALs were awarded to Framingham High School Seniors
    • 7 Framingham High School Seniors graduated with the State SEAL of Biliteracy with Distinction
    • 39 Framingham High School Seniors graduated with the State SEAL of Biliteracy
    • 53 Framingham High School Seniors received a pathway award
  • 60 middle school students received the 8th grade pathway award 
  • 151 elementary school students received the 5th grade pathway award 

The Bilingual Education Department of Framingham Public Schools encourages community members at various levels of their academic careers to learn more about the programs and opportunities. 

Information Session to learn about the SEAL of Biliteracy and the LOC Awards

Who / Why: Parents / Guardians of bilingual, bicultural, and biliterate students in grades 5, 8 and 12 are welcome to attend an information session to learn about the SEAL of Biliteracy and Language Opportunity Coalition (LOC) Awards.

When: Thursday, December 12th at 6:30pm

Where: Framingham Public Library (Costin Room): 49 Lexington Street, Framingham, MA 01702.

Notes: Eligibility criteria for the district pathway to biliteracy awards and the State SEAL awards can be found here. Families of known eligible students will receive a letter with a link to a form where they can submit interest in pursuing either a pathway award or the SEAL of Biliteracy for grade 12. The deadline for submission is December 14, 2019.

Information Session to learn about Dual Language programs in Framingham

Who / Why: Parents / Guardians of incoming Kindergarteners are invited to hear from other program parents and District staff to learn about the programs offered through Framingham Public Schools, the program structure and goals, benefits of being bilingual, current research, available resources, and a real-time Q&A.

When: Wednesday, December 11th from 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Where: Brophy Elementary School (Library): 575 Pleasant Street, Framingham, MA 01701.

Notes: This event will also be broadcasted live on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/framinghamps).

Parents / Guardians who are thinking about pursuing a Dual Language program for their incoming kindergartener(s) should attend this event as it is a helpful resource before embarking on the registration process, school tours, and school choice process.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is leading various initiatives to support the diversification of the education workforce in Districts across the Commonwealth. This year, any graduating senior earning the State SEAL of Biliteracy or the State SEAL with Distinction that is interested in pursuing a career in education will receive a voucher to take the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Test. Additionally, DESE is in discussion with the Department of Higher Education to expand post-secondary opportunities for graduates who earn the State SEAL of Biliteracy. Lastly, April 2020 has been designated as Linguistic Heritage Month to honor the linguistic diversity that already exists in schools across the state. Framingham is proud to offer so many growth opportunities for our community and for our increasing contributions to the language recognition that is expanding across the state of Massachusetts. 

About the Bilingual Education Department
The Bilingual Education Department offers research-based programs and exemplary instruction for English learners in the Framingham Public Schools. FPS has a diverse student population and currently services students from over 70 countries, including Brazil, China, Haiti, India, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Vietnam and several Spanish-speaking countries. The district is committed to offering the highest quality of educational services to all students, and administers English Learner Education programs with the goal of developing English language proficiency and achieving state content-area standards, while simultaneously valuing students’ native languages and cultural backgrounds.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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